Memoriam of Bishop Thomas Mar Makarios
Indian Orthodox Bishop Thomas Mar Makarios passes away
A Bishop of the Indian Orthodox Church has passed away following a motor vehicle accident, reports Michael
Ireland, chief correspondent, ASSIST News Service.
Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios (82,) was involved in a serious road traffic accident on January 5 on his way to
Newcastle airport and was admitted in Newcastle General Hospital in critical condition.
According to Salem Voice Ministries News Service, Bishop Makarios was one of the senior bishops of Indian
(Malankara) Orthodox Church, residing at Episcopal Diocesan House in Buffalo in New York, USA.
The immediate arrangements to bring the Bishop's body to India are still being made. Dr. Geeverghese Mar
Coorilos, the bishop of Bombay Diocese will be arriving in Newcastle to make necessary arrangements.
The funeral will be held at the specially constructed enclosure at Catholicate palace, Devalokam, Kottayam. The
funeral services will be led by Catholicose Baselios Marthoma Didymos I, Catholicose designate Paulose Mar
Milithios and other bishops.
The funeral is expected to be delayed by a few days on account of the autopsy procedures provided for by
British law. Since the bishop is a US citizen and the funeral is planned in India, complicated rules will attend it.
Bishop Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios was born on May 26, 1926, the son of Mr.Chacko and Mrs. Mariamma
Kuttikandathil in Kerala. He entered into the priesthood as a deacon in February 23, 1951 and was ordained as
a priest in 1952 by His Holiness Catholicos GeeVarghese Baselios II.
His death came on February 23, his 57th year of entering the priesthood. It was also the 74th memorial day of
St. Geeverghese Dionysius of Vattasseril.
Thomas Mar Makarios was the first vicar of the Orthodox Church in New Delhi after his ordination.
He studied in various religious institutions in England, Germany, Switzerland and France, and has been in the
U.S since 1963 and earning a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Nashota House in Wisconsin, a Master's of
Sacred Theology from Virginia Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate in Theology from Union Theological
Seminary in Richmond.
Mar Makarios returned back to India and worked as a professor of Church History at Orthodox Theological
Seminary in India. Mar Makarios was consecrated as a Metropolitan by His Holiness Catholicos Ougen I in 1975.
He was appointed as the first metropolitan of Diocese of Bombay and served for four years as bishop of
In 1979 Mar Makarios was transferred as the metropolitan of the Diocese of America of the Indian Orthodox
Church. Since 1985, he has been teaching religion at Alma College in Michigan. Although he was busy
year-round as senior metropolitan of his church in western hemisphere, he set aside the time to visit Alma
Mar Makarios believed that he could help give students a deeper insight into the 'mysterious' insight of the
Eastern Church. In recognition of Makarios' achievements and contributions to church and society, the college
awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity Honorees Causa in 1990.
The American diocese was divided in 1992 as two dioceses under the names Diocese of America and Diocese
of Canada, UK and Europe. Since then he ruled the diocese of Canada, UK and Europe as its bishop.
The family of Thomas Mar Makarios is noted for submitting themselves to the service of God through the Indian
Orthodox Church. Rev K C Mathew Cor Episcopa is one of his brothers. Another brother, Lazarus Ramban is a
monk. Sister Mary, one of his sisters is a nun.
Rev. Paul Ciniraj, the President of the Christian Ministers of the Churches (CMCI) and the Director of Salem
Voice Ministries conveyed deep condolences for the demise of Bishop Thomas Mar Makarios.
[02/26/2008] Print Version
© Reprint is allowed unless source hyperlink is not deleted
The Miracle of Thomas Mar Makarios
Where Did the Brain Tumor Go?
The Story of a Miraculous Healing
By Mathew Samuel, Austin, TX
I heard the following incident from HG (Bishop) Thomas Mar Makarios while the bishop was speaking to the
youth in Austin, Texas Church last weekend (April 3, 2004). There may be some errors in the message,
since I am writing from memory. One purpose of me writing this message is to point out that physical healing
does happen in our church (Indian Orthodox Church), though we do not publicize it as much as some other
Thomas Achen (an Indian word for Rev Father) was organizing an international conference in New Delhi,
India sometime in the 1950s. Many important delegates from the WCC (World Council of Churches) were
One day Thomas Achen felt that one side of his face had become numb. He felt weak, and ill. His eyelids
were drooping. He had double vision. He was examined by a doctor from Christian Medical College Hospital,
Vellore (South India). The doctor was concerned and asked for some reports. The medical reports
confirmed that Thomas Achen had a brain tumor.
The doctor called achen and told him that he was diagnosed to have brain tumor. He showed achen the
reports and showed him exactly where the tumor was. He told achen,"You can come to Vellore and undergo
an operation. But I need to tell you the risks involved -
1) You may die on the operating table 2) You may become disabled 3) If you do not undergo the operation,
you may have another 6 months at the most to live.
Now you choose what you want to do. If you choose to have the operation, contact me in Vellore and we will
have it all set up."
It was a very difficult choice for Thomas Achen. He finally made up his mind to go and have the operation
and take the risk. At about this time, an American couple who were delegates at the conference and who
were pleased by the service of Thomas Achen at the conference, offered him a scholarship to come and
study in the United States. Thomas achen said he was interested in the offer; and made plans to go to
Vellore for the treatment.
Thomas Achen went to his home in Airoor in Kerala (South India), and made his parents aware of his
situation - that he had a brain tumor, and that he was planning to have an operation in Vellore, that there
was a big chance that he may not come back from Vellore alive. He told them, that in that situation, they
should bury him in Vellore, and not bother to bring his body back to his hometown, to save the expenses.
He met the then Bava (Head Bishop of Indian Orthodox Church) and told him of his situation - that soon
Bava might have to find a replacement for him in Delhi. Bava prayed for him, then told him - "Go into the
chapel and tell God your situation. If He wants your service here, you will not die, and if He wants you with
Him there, you will go away from us". So Thomas Achen went into the chapel and prayed.
He took the train to Vellore, and met the priest at Vellore. He told the achen there about his situation and
prepared a place for his burial there in Vellore. The next day, he got up, he did not feel any of the
symptoms he felt earlier, like the drooping eyelids, numbness, double vision etc. Achen remembered an old
saying that when you are closer to death, every thing suddenly feels calm and normal! He was terrified and
he hurried to the hospital where he had already made an appointment. The nurse came to examine him.
She looked at him and asked -"Where are the drooping eyelids?" "Do you feel numb in the face?" "Do you
see double?" Achen could only reply "No!" to all her queries.
The perplexed nurse ran out and came back with the doctor who examined him in Delhi. After examinations,
the doctor asked"Where is your brain tumor?" "I don't know" replied Thomas Achen!
For two months, the doctors did several tests on Achen. Then one day, 18 of the doctors in Vellore, came
into his room. The doctor who examined him in Delhi said, "There are some things which the Medical
Profession does not understand..This is one of those things..I saw the brain tumor in your head in
Delhi..Now I dont see it!"
Later Thomas Achen contacted the American couple and took the scholarship and came to the States. He
believes that it was the prayers of many people that healed him from his brain tumor.
The Thomas Achen was later ordained as a Bishop of Indian orthodox Church. He is now known as H.G.
Thomas Mar Makarios, Metropolitan. He is the first Metropolitan of the American Diocese of the Indian
Quotes of Bishop Makarios:
"The church needs to change - Just like the 4th century church was not exactly a carbon copy of the 1st
Century church, so also the 21st Century church cannot be an exact carbon copy of the 1st century church
or the 20th century church. Change is not a threat. Change is Growth and growth is change. The church
needs to continuously adapt to the new society."
"Love others, your church 'inspite of' them, not 'because of' somethings in them. You should not love
anyone 'because of' something, but rather you should love 'inspite of' everything, that is true love."
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|Bishop Thomas Mar Makarios was my friend. He was an
advisor to former President Jimmy Carter during the Iranian
Hostage Crisis in 1979. I hired the Bishop in 1980 to teach
courses at Medaille College on Middle East Culture and
History. We enjoyed a friendship until his untimely death. I
will always miss him.
|Love others, your church
in spite of them, not
because of somethings
You should not love
anyone because of
something,but rather you
should love in spite of
everything, that is true
Dr Thomas Mar Makarios